Jasa Cocke grew up traveling the world so it’s no wonder that her South Pasadena boutique, Marz, features a collection of eclectic gift items from all over the globe. The store was founded 15 years ago by Cocke’s mother, Marcia Ellinger, who has always had an eye for unusual things that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
“My mom is the originator of Marz, which was a nickname that somebody gave her,” explained Cocke. “She also loves Mars the red planet, so that just became her thing. She retired two years ago but still comes into the store. People love seeing her—she’s the backbone of this place.”
Years ago, Ellinger worked at a store on Fair Oaks Avenue with two of her friends, then when that place closed, the trio took over the existing space to run their own businesses. After the building was sold, they relocated to Mission Street, where they each opened stores directly next door to one another—all connected by an internal entrance so that shoppers can conveniently go back and forth in a unique collective atmosphere. The neighboring boutiques that Marz is connected to are Rue de Mimo and Camille DePedrini, both of which specialize in fashion.
“Our store is known for being eclectic,” said Cocke. “We carry certain lines throughout the year, but when I shop I try to find new items with my customers and regular shoppers in mind. I come from a well-traveled family that has a love for things from around the world—we work really hard on being inclusive of many cultures in this place. My parents were archaeologists and when I was young we lived in the Middle East for several years. We’re collectors, so you can find antique and vintage items in here. We find stuff at estate sales, there are pieces from our personal collections and we offer one-of-a-kind items that make great gifts. I also have store pop-ups with artists every month or two.”
The boutique always carries an assortment of candles as well as beauty and skin care products such as nail polish from butter London and luxurious soaps and lotions from Beekman 1802. Marz also sells botanical tea, Kantha throw blankets made from vintage Saris in India, all types of books, kid’s items, baby accessories, incense, games, greeting cards for all occasions and more.
“Customers love our cards,” said Cocke. “It’s what people walk in the door for all day long. It’s all about finding the perfect card and gift, and picking up something for yourself while you’re at it. I love walking into this space and not feeling like I’m outside—there’s a nice sense of being in another place. It’s creative, you get to think differently, and see, smell and feel all of the wonderful things in here. Everything here has a little bit of a story if you want to take the time to find out.”
Marz is located at 1512 Mission St. in South Pasadena. It is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. For more information, call (626) 799-4032 or visit marzbazaar.com.
Marz Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 5.24.19. Support Local Business.